আমরা এই ব্লগেই দেখেছি, সংস্কৃত না জেনে কী ভাবে উইলিয়ম জোন্স, ডব্লিউ ডব্লিউ উইলসন, ম্যাক্সমুলারেরমত ইওরোপিয়রা ভারততত্ববিদ হয়ে উঠছেন. দেশিয় পণ্ডতদের অনুবাদগুনে তাঁরা ভারতের নানান শাস্ত্র বিশ্লেষণ করছেন ইওরোপিয় দর্শনে, যেখানে ভারতীয়ত্বের বিন্দুমাত্র ছোঁয়া নেই. ভারতীয় গবেষকদের অধিকাংশ এই ইওরোপিয় পণ্ডিতদের পথ ধরেছেন, কেননা তাঁদের পড়াশোনার জীবন শুরুই হয় সর্ববিদ্যায় ইওরোপ গুরু এই তত্বে. মূলে না গিয়ে তাঁরা অনুসরণ করেন পণ্ডিতস্মণ্য ইওরোপিয়দের রচনা, যা আদতে শুধু ভুলে ভরাই নয়, উদ্দেশ্যপূর্ণভাবে ভারতকে ছোট দেখানের কল.
সোরা আর বারুদ প্রযুক্তিও একই ঘটনা ঘটেছে.
সেই উদ্দেশ্য পুণের এই http://www.orientalthane.com/general/news_5_28_july.htm ওয়েবসাইটটি থেকে এই সংবাদচুম্বকটি প্রকাশ করলাম.
Mumbai, July 20 (UNI) Britishers may have given India much in terms of revolutionary ideas and thinking, including the railways, paving way for modernization in the country, but ample historical evidence has brought to light a few amazing facts, one of which being that guns and gun-power were in use in Bengal in the beginning of the 15th century much before the Britishers brought it to India.
The 'Shukraniti' medieval Indian text, describes how gun powder can be prepared using saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal in different ratios for the use of different, types of gnus, says Dr. Vijay Bedekar, the President of Thane-based Institute of Oriental Study.
Dr. Bedekar, who along with Dr R P Kulkarni authored a book Glimpses of Chemistry in ancient and Medical India. Which was released recently, had traced the origins of gunnery in India after almost eight months of through research.
Ancient text reveals that while gunpowder was known as 'Agnicurna', the guns were called 'Nalastra'.
One such combination of 'Agnicurna' as stated in the text consists of five parts of saltpeter, one part of sulphur and one part of charcoal to be dried in the sun. It is finally grinded into a powder which becomes gun-powder.
Following the release of the book at the recently-concluded International Chemistry Olympiad, Dr. Bedekar told UNI here that besides the art of making gunpowder, 'Shukraniti' also descries in detail about guns, which were available during those times.
'Shukraniti' suggests that the 'Nalikas' are of two kinds, large and small - the smaller ones are 112.5 cms long, have a stock of tough wood and a barrel of a bamboo with a bore of three-fourth of an inch.
The small 'Nalikas' are carried by infantry and cavalry. The larger 'Nalikas', has no wooden stock - were made of steel and other metals ands was carried on wheels, according to Dr. Bedekar.
The small shot for smaller arms is made of lead or other metals, and the shots for larger guns are made of iron.
For this the gunpowder is composed of four, five or six parts of 'Suvarchi Lavana' (salt petre), one part of sulphur and one part of Charcoal of plant arka (calotropis gigantea linn), Snuhi and other trees burnt in a pit so as to exclude air.
The mixture is soaked in sap of akra and rasuna (garlic), died in Sun and redacted to a coarse powder like granulated sugar.
Dr. Bedekar points out that there are many kinds of 'Agnichurma' known to experts, and they are composed of varied proportion of charcoal, sulphur, salt petre, regular, orpiment, clax of lead, cinnabar, iron fillings, zinc dust, shell -lac, blue vitriol and resin of pines to name a few. Some even give out white light like that of moon.
Says Dr. Bedekar, "All these things are there in our history books. What is lacking today is a structured course on history of science in India. It is high time that policy makers realize this and devise such courses for universities and colleges.
Talking about his book, he said that they have tried to incorporate several facts of the ancient chemistry in India that is not known today.
The practical knowledge of chemistry is useful in many branches of human activity, namely, to prepare medicines, to purify metals from their ores and to prepare alloy and make gold from base metals, preparation of glass among others. Indian chemistry mainly flourished as a branch of medicine." Dr. Bedekar added.